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ASUS VW198S

This is another model from the large VW19xx family. It is different from its kin in many respects, though.

The specifications say it all. The VW198S has a native resolution of 1680x1050 pixels. The resolution is larger than standard while the screen size is the same. It means that the monitor’s pixel pitch is very small. Some people won’t like this. For example, gamers will need a more advanced graphics card to play at the monitor’s native resolution without interpolation. The system fonts and icons may also look too small. It’s no secret that many Windows applications have problems with image scalability. I personally think that text looks better with a small pixel pitch if the font is selected properly, especially when you use such antialiasing technologies as ClearType. Anyway, it is good that the developers do not forget about the 19-inch class and introduce new models differing from the established standard. It is always good for the user to have a broader choice. By the way, we have already tested a model with this native resolution, which also featured response time compensation. It was the ViewSonic VX1940w.

The VW198S also sports an increased level of dynamic contrast and larger viewing angles. Yes, TN matrixes are progressing. They are still inferior to *VA and S-IPS technologies in this respect and get dark when viewed from below just as they always did, but the viewing angles have become somewhat larger indeed. Modern TN matrixes have a higher contrast ratio, which affects the specified viewing angles. The latter are measured for a contrast ratio reduction of 10:1. If the overall contrast ratio is higher, it will naturally take somewhat longer to drop to 10:1. Well, running a little ahead, I should confess this particular monitor is no record-breaker in terms of contrast ratio.

This monitor differs from the other ASUS models included into this review with the sticker in the top right corner. Otherwise, it has the same design of the case and stand as the other models in its series have. It looks nice and neat.

The stand allows to change the tilt of the screen. You can replace it with a VESA-compatible mount. There is a plastic cable holder at the back of the stand.

The back panel offers an analog input, a connector for the integrated power adapter, and an audio input. The letter S in the model name means the lack of a digital interface. That’s sad because it would suit the increased resolution better. An analog interface is subject to interference and its image quality depends on the quality of the graphics card’s analog output.

The buttons have not changed. The Power button still has a soft LED which is blue at work and red in sleep mode. Quick access is provided to selecting a Splendid mode, to the brightness and sound volume settings, and to the auto-adjustment feature.

The menu is the same as the above-discussed monitors from ASUS have. And it has the same problems: it opens up on the Splendid tab and doesn’t remember the last option you changed. There are two pages in some menu screens, which is unhandy.

The monitor’s brightness and contrast are set at 90% and 80% by default. I achieved a 100nit level of white by reducing both to 73%. Color gradients are reproduced without banding at any settings. Lights and darks are also displayed properly at any level of contrast. The monitor regulates its brightness by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 250Hz.

 
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